7×7 magazine (a clever reference to the city’s dimensions, for you outsiders), has an article (blog post? I’m not sure if it was published in their most recent old-school-glossy-paper issue) up with the seven best neighborhoods in San Francisco. Why not the eight, nine, or ten best neighborhoods in San Francisco? I’m gonna assume it’s because San Francisco is 7×7, and can thus have 7 best neighborhoods. But enough with abusing the number 7! (its time to abuse other numbers)
They pick NOPA (North Panhandle, again for you outsiders) as the best “most house for your money” neighborhood. While NOPA has been around for quite a while (it has some incredible Victorian and Edwardian homes), they call it San Francisco’s newest neighborhood. And while it might be the newest cool kid on the block, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of houses and neighborhood dwellers who can attest to the staying power of NOPA. Ah, everything old is hip again. Or something like that.
The article lists a median price for a home in NOPA at $635,000 with an average price per square foot of $243 (as an aside, price per square foot is a questionable metric for most of San Francisco, but we’ll save that for another day). The article wasn’t clear if this was for all residential homes in NOPA or if it was just for single family homes. Those numbers immediately seemed incredibly low to me, so I fell back to my trusty friend the MLS and ran some statistical searches.
Since it wasn’t clear if we are talking about single family homes or all residential real estate I ran two searches, one exclusively looking at single family NOPA homes and the other looking at all residential transactions (which would include condos, TICs, lofts, co-ops, and 2-4 unit buildings). If we look at single family NOPA homes we have 7 sales in 2010 with a median sales price of $1,129,500 and a median price per square foot of $565, a price per square foot metric that is more than double what is published by 7×7, and a median sales price that is almost double their calculations.
If we look at all residential NOPA transactions for 2010, the median sales price is $837,000 which works out to $703/square foot, almost triple the price per square foot metric that is in the 7×7 article and about %25 more on the median sale price.
So where is 7×7 getting their real estate data? While I expect to see a slight difference in numbers, the difference between my numbers and their numbers is anything but slight. While we may be using different neighborhood boundaries (mine are based on the SFAR MLS map), I’m still hard pressed to understand how we could arrive at such different numbers. I’ve posted a comment on the article over at 7×7, I’ll let you know what I hear.
UPDATE/1:05pm Jan 5,2010/
The 7×7 article was published on June 26, 2010 (shows you how often I read them). They list their data sources as: Information gathered from 511.org, Craigslist, City and County of San Francisco, Crime Mapping, Golden Gate Mothers Group, Great Schools, Trulia, Yelp, the US Census Bureau, Zagat and Zillow.
So I went back and revised my statistical MLS searches for NOPA to look at the time period Jan 1 – June 1, 2010. The results don’t get any better. I’m going to guess this data is from Zillow or Trulia (since Zagat doesn’t publish much in the way of real estate data), which just goes to show how awful Trulia and Zillow data often is. My revised calculations for all NOPA residential sales from Jan 1 – Jun 1 of 2010 is a median price of $891,000 with a corresponding price per square foot of $672. Looking solely at single family homes in NOPA the median sales price is $1,351,000 with a price per square foot of $1,219.
Is data like this useful to you? I’d be happy to run some more stats for neighborhoods, just let me know the neighborhood that interests you in the comments.